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Nova Scotia landlords, tenant advocates clash over rent caps, fixed-term leases

Landlords and tenant advocates faced off in a debate over rent caps and fixed-term leases at the Nova Scotia legislature on Monday.

The law amendments committee heard presentations on the Progressive Conservative government’s plan to extend the cap – which is currently set at two per cent until the end of 2023 – and increase the limit to five per cent for 2024 and 2025, as part of amendments to Bill 262.

Rental property owners and groups were unanimous in condemning any rent caps, given increasing interest rates, energy costs and other financial pressures.

But tenant advocates said rent caps should be regarded as the minimum level of protection for facing skyrocketing rents and a vacancy rate of one per cent in Nova Scotia.

“Let me be perfectly clear when I say the rent cap has crippled rental housing providers’ ability to keep up with skyrocketing costs, especially for those who include utilities and rent,” said Amanda Knight, who owns 24 units in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton.

“The elimination of fixed-term leases will be the final nail in the coffin for the remaining rental housing providers in this province who are bleeding. I can assure you, you will see a spike in properties being sold and an exponential increase in Nova Scotians who struggle to find housing or become homeless.”…[Read More]